Nyandarua County Government has finalized plans to establish mobile Artificial Insemination (A.I.) services in all the five sub-counties to enable dairy farmers access the services with ease.
Making the announcement today March 26, 2015, Nyandarua Governor H.E. Daniel Waithaka Mwangi said new service providers will be posted in all the localities and their telephone numbers circulated to farmers through co-operative societies, churches and other fora.
“A farmer whose animal shows signs of being on heat will simply contact the service provider who should arrive to the farm on a motorbike within two to three hours to provide the AI services,” the Governor said.
He said the service providers will be supplied with uniforms for identification and will be armed with AI kit- including liquid nitrogen and semen supplied from quality breeds to enable farmers improve on milk production.
“Nyandarua is currently producing 226 million liters of milk per year but we anticipate to increase production threefold in the next three years,” the Governor said.
The Governor was speaking during a consultative forum held in Ol’Kalou town with representatives from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Heifer International Group. The two are partnering with the county government in revitalizing farming and dairy sectors.
The JKUAT group was led by Prof. Martin Obanda, the Director of Production Services at the University, while Heifer International group was led by Mr. Joel Molel, the development manager for East Africa.
The Governor said the collapse of dairy and farming sectors in 1980s was necessitated by government interference with the running of co-operative societies, through a clever scheme allegedly calculated by those in authority to fleece farmers and financially cripple certain communities.
“We had vibrant co-operative movement and our farmers earned huge income from the sale of milk, pyrethrum, wool, and other products but the societies were systematically crippled to bring down members of certain communities,” he said.
The Governor said his administration was making efforts to reverse the trend by encouraging farmers to team up through co-operative societies in order to attract funding from government.
“We are supplying milk cooling plants to co-operative societies to enable farmers store their milk in hygienic conditions before transporting it for processing. We are also assisting other societies acquire equipment to boost agriculture,” he said.
Nyandarua County Commissioner, Wilson Njega welcomed the project by JKUAT and Heifer International saying it was time farmers were enabled to keep high breed dairy cows that produced over 20 liters of milk per day.
“Some farmers keep cows that produce an average of three liters of milk per day, which is not sustainable,” he said.
In his presentation, Mr. Molel said his organization has operated in Kenya since 1991 and has assisted farmers in East Africa to run dairy farming as a business.
The two partners were expected to enter into negotiations before signing an M.O.U on terms of engagement, according to Agriculture and Livestock Development Executive Hon. Agatha Thuo.